As we pulled up to our resort on Lake of the Ozarks, we couldn’t help but get excited for all the adventure ahead. We had a full itinerary of hiking, paddling, touring a cave, visiting wineries, playing on a ropes course, relaxing by the water, lakefront dining, and exploring castle ruins. Like I said...full itinerary! Our home base during the trip would be the Margaretville Lake Resort Lake of the Ozarks; and the lake views from the property were fantastic. The property has so much to offer, such as a lakefront pool, mini golf course, water parks, restaurants, swim up bars, and more. In between all our adventures around the lake, we relaxed in a spacious room and soaked up the lake life.
The first stop we made in town was to get high off the ground on the ropes course at Malted Monkey. We channeled our inner child and threw any fear of heights out the window as we made our way higher and higher up the course. Balancing on the ropes, swinging along the SkyRail, and maneuvering the obstacles at heights of up to 55feet in the air was thrilling. It all culminated with an exhilarating free fall straight to the ground—what a rush! To reward ourselves for a job well done, we grabbed delicious burgers and malts at the onsite restaurant. And let me tell you, these weren’t just any old malts. We were served giant masterpieces full of sweets—Reese’s Pieces for me and Oreo for Micah.
Our time in the sky now complete, we spent the rest of the afternoon hiking on solid ground at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. We started off with a drive through the park and couldn’t help making a pit stop on the docks to relax by the water. Then, just in time for sunset, we hiked the 2.2-mile Rocky Top Trail. This trail consists of two connected loops, and it sends you through the woods, meadows, and right along the lakeshore. We were amazed at the sunset views overlooking the lake and it was the perfect way to wind down for the evening.
After a great night's sleep, Ha Ha Tonka State Park was our first stop the next morning. To start off the day, we walked the short path to the stunning castle ruins that sit high above the lake near the edge of a rocky cliff. The castle was initially built in the early 1900’s, but was destroyed by fire in the 1940’s. We were amazed by the ruins and couldn’t help but imagine what it must have been like in its heyday. Next up, it was time for a couple of hikes around the park. We started out with another short hike to the natural bridge. We were in awe of the towering rock that stood in front of us. The stone arch is massive and stands at 100 feet high and 70 feet wide. The 1.4 mile Spring Trail was next. We made our way along the lake shore to the vibrant turquoise waters of the Ha Ha Tonka Spring. The first 0.4 miles of the trail are paved, and we enjoyed the interpretive signs that taught us about the spring and surrounding landscape. The last mile of the trail was more strenuous—at one point we climbed 316 stairs with a 200-foot vertical gain. It was a great way to get our hearts pumping!
With a beautifully sunny sky and gorgeous calm waters, we couldn’t leave the state park without having one last adventure. We rented kayaks from the park for a two-hour paddle on the lake. As we paddled through the calm waters towards the towering rocky cliffs, we couldn’t help but smile at what a glorious day it had been so far. After taking a refreshing afternoon pool break at our resort, we made our way to visit two different wineries. First up was the Seven Springs Winery with its gorgeous cascading patio outback. We each ordered a glass of red wine and found a secluded table on the patio with views overlooking the vineyard.The peaceful atmosphere provided a tranquil setting for us to enjoy our wine. The next winery on our list was the Shawnee Bluff Winery, which is home to stunning views from the patio overlooking Lake of the Ozarks.This time around, Micah ordered another glass of red wine, but I opted for a refreshing watermelon wine slushie. What a way to enjoy the sunset on a beautiful evening!
"We were amazed at the sunset views overlooking the lake and it was the perfect way to wind down for the evening."
On the final morning of our trip, we took a tour of Bridal Cave, and it was a wonderful way to close out our visit to Lake of the Ozarks. Bridal Cave is rated one of the most scenic caves in America, and we could certainly see why! Our tour guide led us into the cave and the sheer size and height of the stalagmites and stalactites were astonishing. We loved squeezing through tight passages, seeing the various rock formations and ponds, and learning about the numerous weddings that have been held in the cave. We even had the chance to stand in complete darkness when our guide switched off the lights for a minute. It was eerie and so fascinating all at the same time.